Get to know Adam Bergeron- a woodworker's Q&A
1 When did you first start working with wood?
I started woodworking when I was 10 yrs old.
2. What is the best piece of advice you ever got about woodworking? Or using wood?
You don’t need lots of expensive tools to make nice things. Start with a few decent tools and practice, practice, practice!
3. What are the 5 most important tools in your workshop and why?
#1 Is my Festool track saw model TS75. I bought this saw over 10 years ago and it gets used constantly. I use this saw to cut the plywood down to size for cabinets, trim edges of doors and straighten the edges of rough boards to further mill down to size. #2 Chisels, I use my chisels for a lot of woodworking, from making joints to trimming down strips for the Kumiko I make. #3 My router is the jack of all trades. It’s very useful for making dados, rabbets, rounding off edges of parts, etc. #4 Tablesaw. I have a Ridgid jobsite saw, that with a crosscut sled which helps me cut perfectly square crosscuts and a zero clearance blade insert for ripping thin pieces of wood, have improved my ability to make high quality items. 5#Jigs,Jigs,Jigs! I make jigs for anything I can. Especially if it’s something I want to build again in the future. Having a jig assigned to a specific job is invaluable.
4. What most inspires you about wood and about your work?
I love the feel and look of wood. I’ve done metalworking, but metal feels cold and is not as inviting as wood.
5. What is the first wooden item you have ever made? Please let us know how it came about
The first thing I ever made from wood was a wooden kitchen spoon. I made this spoon with the help of a neighbor I had when I was around 10 yrs old . My neighbors name was Wilbur Clark and he was in his late 80s to early 90s when I met him. He was a old school cabinet maker and his shop was full of hand tools, in fact the only power tool he had was a wood lathe! I was so enthralled by his shop that my dad asked Mr. Clark if he could teach me woodworking, Mr Clark pulled out a hand plane made a few passes on the edge of a board and then asked me to look down see if the edge was straight. I looked and said it was. Mr Clark looked at the board himself and replied “You have a good eye! I can teach you some woodworking. A few days later I went over to his shop and Mr Clark had me start making a spoon with some basic hand tools . I was hooked! I’ve been obsessed with woodworking since then.
6. When did you start your journey with your beautiful craft?
My current passion is making Kumiko. Kumiko is a Japanese wood lattice art, traditionally used in Shoji. In my early teens I loved getting books from the library on woodworking and I fell in love with Japanese woodworking and other traditional Japanese crafts. I had seen Kumiko over the years and in 2020 I really want to test my skill level. It’s a very unforgiving craft that requires a high level of precision to fit together, even having a joints 0.5 mm off can ruin the fit of the rest of the pieces. The first Kumiko I made was a square grid pattern and went together great... next I tried the triangle grid,which proved to be much more difficult and frustrating if you don’t have all your things set up perfectly. After some trial and error I worked out the bugs, and have been making larger and larger panels, with the intent of getting to the point of making large murals in the future.
7. What are the projects you are most proud of and why?
That's a hard question. I think every new project is the one I’m the proud the most of, but if I had to choose a big one it would be a bar counter I built this past summer.
8.What is the most unusual use of wood in your work?
I really can’t think of anything I make that has an “unusual use of wood” . Everything I’ve made seemed like a “normal use of wood” to me.
9. What is the most inspiring quote that always motivates you?
I’m a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and he said once “ You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having”
Find out more about Adam and check out his Instagram account.